How to Pick the Right Virtual Event Formats to Reach Your Business Goals

How to Pick the Right Virtual Event Formats to Reach Your Business Goals | MCI Group | Events

Calendar icon August, 27 2020

When it comes to designing your virtual event, the way the experience is crafted plays a substantial role in its success.  

Virtual and physical events differ in several ingredients but can still create shared value and even have some advantages compared to face-to-face. 

Embracing a digital-first mindset – which doesn’t mean focusing only on the tech aspects – is essential though to design virtual events that achieve their initial purpose. 

Virtual Formats: Selecting the Right Blend 

With that in mind, it's important to focus on which suitable virtual formats - whether it’s an on-demand recording, a discussion forum, a virtual workshop or more – will achieve the goals related to each phase of the participant journey.  

You also need to consider how to combine different formats. This will not only have a direct effect on the way attendees feel, think, and react, but will also have a lasting impact after they've happened.   

Deciding the right virtual format for your event will largely depend not only on your pain and needs. It will be specifically linked to the 'required' change you want from your target audience. What actions are you expecting from them once the event is over? Is your goal to inspire them, educate them or promote a new product? 

Format selection should focus on 'participant centricity' and not be driven by technology. Two main factors will help you determine the format selection process: suitability and goals. 


The question to ask yourself with each format that you consider is: will this chosen format generate the required impact and outcome at this point of the event journey?  

Virtual formats can be suitable at various phases throughout the virtual event journey.  A useful way to classify formats is suitability as Openers, Middles, or Closers.

virtual events

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The objective of a virtual format refers to the purpose each format has to achieve for the selected phase of the event journey. Formats trigger participant behaviour positively and even negatively, if poorly chosen. 

They also determine how participants think, feel, and what they do at a given moment that supports the participant transformation process. There are 7 big picture goals that these fall under. Designing an effective virtual event combines most, if not all, these elements. 

virtual events

  • Education/Awareness: getting attendees to learn more about specific topic. Raising awareness about a topic, brand, product or solution. 
  • Collaboration: facilitating ways in which attendees collaborate around specific challenges, brainstorm, build team cohesion/dynamics etc. 
  • Network: allowing attendees to interact with each other, building relationships and community. 
  • Conversation/Topic Discussion: facilitating ways in which attendees can interact with each other (peer to peer) as well as with speakers, experts, leadership etc. 
  • Reflect/Key Takeaways: allowing attendees to digest and retain key moments of the content /event experience. Providing a baseline for future events. 
  • Entertain /Socialise: creating a sensory experience, triggering emotions, boosting motivation and enabling a degree of 'socialisation'.   
  • Analysis/Assessment: considering ways in which you can capture data to assess a specific situation of the virtual experience. 

Choosing the right virtual events formats that will best serve your business objectives to deliver your event requires careful consideration and strategy. Are you planning a virtual event and need help designing an enjoyable and informative experience for your audience? Contact us to talk to our experience design experts. 


Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta Fadini
Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta is a Content Creator with a passion for storytelling and new technologies. She covers stories on the latest innovations in the event industry with lots of research and a pinch of humour.

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